Building on the deep friendship and long-standing alliance between the United States and Portugal, we met today to reaffirm the strength of the partnership between our two countries. We acknowledged the very important role played by the Portuguese-American community in bringing our two nations closer together. Determined to further enhance our relationship, we discussed ways of maximizing the work of the U.S.- Portugal Bilateral Commission, which facilitates cooperation in areas as diverse as defense and security, education, science and technology exchanges, economic revitalization, law enforcement, and development in the Azores. We also noted that in recent years, partnerships between Portuguese and American universities are developing state of the art research in areas such as engineering, information technology, and medicine, and we committed to fostering these relationships in the future.
This meeting was an opportunity for exchanging views on the present world economic and financial situation. The United States underscored its full support for Portugal's implementation of its reform program backed by the IMF and the EU.
We also agreed to continue our close cooperation within the U.N. Security Council, where Portugal currently serves as Council President, on issues of mutual concern, such as Syria, Libya, Middle East peace, and Iran. We emphasized the importance that both our countries attach to the role of the United Nations in the promotion of peace, democracy, good governance and human rights.
As two of the original founding members of NATO, we reaffirmed our commitment to the Atlantic Alliance. We discussed ongoing NATO operations, in particular in Afghanistan, where Portugal intends to maintain its contribution. Recalling the success of the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, we reviewed plans for the May 2012 NATO Summit that President Obama will host in Chicago. We agreed that we would work together in the coming months to ensure that the Summit advances our joint goal of ensuring that the Alliance is fully prepared to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.